About Me

by Kevin Burns
(Machida, Japan)

About Me and why I Made How to Teach English in Japan.com

My name is Kevin Burns, and I have written all of the articles here, unless otherwise credited. I have taught in Japan for 27 years. Learn from my hard won experiences. Laugh at my mistakes. See how my writing has changed over the years too from a young man, to an old fart.

This is your chance to laugh at me. I was hoping to retire with this website. I believed the hype of how you can make money by writing on the internet. Don`t get me wrong!
I`m sure some people are making money and some of them are even rich.

Just I am not one of them! And I have spent more than 8 years on this website.
Learn from my mistakes! Laugh, cry, pound your keyboard!

No don`t! You might break it!

"Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life."

- Confucius

Yah, easy for him to say! Damn Chinese philosopher! I bet he never had to teach at ECC! or ForB English!

About Me ... The Story

Teaching English in Japan

My three children are bilingual. I too speak Japanese, but wouldn`t label myself as bilingual. But I bumble my way through many situations, and manage.

About Me and Travel in Japan

At about seven years old I got the idea in my head that one day I had to go to Japan. I`m not sure why exactly, but I think I had been watching a documentary about Expo in Japan or the Olympics in Tokyo.

Life always seemed to lead me in the direction of Japan. My brother brought a very good Japanese friend home one day, her name was Kumiko and she was great! She was very kind to me I remember.

About Me and Living in Japan

At 12, I played in a local tennis tournament and in the final I beat Ken Iwasaki, a Japanese-Canadian. He and I became best friends and I often visited his home, which was an oasis of Japanese culture. I enjoyed looking at their raven hair, and deep brown, almond eyes. I tried Japanese food and enjoyed looking at their souvenirs and furniture from Japan. It was all so different from my house.

I had always prided myself on being funny. It was who I was I felt. I dreamed of one day being a famous comedian like one of my idols, Steve Martin or a comedic actor like Michael J. Fox (also from the Vancouver area).

After graduating from the University of British Columbia with a bachelor`s degree in Theatre (minor in History), I pursued my dream of comedy dominance. I performed at Punchlines and Yuk Yuk`s in Vancouver, I was interviewed and did a little comedy on CBC radio and I made my (drunken) friends laugh!

I came to realize however that it was very difficult. At 24 I envisioned a career as a stand up comedian, traveling from city to city, performing in various comedy venues and making around 2,000 dollars a month. It would not have been enough for me.

I was a glutton for punishment. I founded the comedy club that went on to become The Tokyo Comedy Store when I was in my late 20s. But I got tired of the infighting of theater and comedy, and chose to concentrate on managing my English schools and teaching.


About Me and Time in Japan

What I really wanted was a home (with a white picket fence), a kind, caring wife and children. I didn`t want to be out on the road all the time for work. I wanted a home.

I also wanted the time and money to be able to travel when I wanted and where I wanted.
I`m hoping that having some Airbnb Guest Houses, might actually allow me to do that.

About Me and Japan Living

I thought Japan would be a great base for that. Make my living in a safe, interesting and financially powerful country, and use that highly valued currency to travel in other countries.   It worked! I have traveled all over the world! Japan is still that safe, interesting country. It is a great place to live and bring up children, even if there is ethnic profiling and some racism here and there- mostly comments about "how foreigners smell." Nothing violent fortunately.

About Me - Yet I still wanted more...

Teaching has been great in many, many ways. I have a good income and a lot of freedom to travel and yet...

I have always worked towards more, and more financial and personal freedom. I read about others who have done it, and that has inspired me.

While working for Columbia College during the summers off from  university, I had the pleasure of getting to know hundreds of  Japanese students. I found them charming and again Japan  kept calling to me.

More about me and my Desire to go to Japan

I talked with everyone I knew who had ever lived and taught in  Japan. I got to know as many Japanese as I could in Vancouver, and then at 25 I decided that I would go to Japan and teach  for a year. I never left!

One of my tenets through life has always been to try as much as possible to work smart. What I mean is, work hard but don`t spend any more time at work than you have to, and do things you  enjoy doing as much as possible--including of course, doing work you enjoy.

Teaching ironically is full of comedic opportunities. So now I  am paid to be a funny teacher. I really enjoy it! I try  to be funny when I write too.

I am a fan of Dr. Wayne Dyer and he has always striven to have more and more freedom in his life. Freedom in what he chooses to do, and financial freedom. That is the reason I started this website and others. I regret that now. However, I use this website to promote my Guest Houses and I hope to get guests from this website.

Freedom is what I am all about! I always want more freedom and tend to give my students a lot of freedom too. Maybe I give my children too much freedom!

Teaching in Japan can be quite lucrative once you are here for a while. It can be fairly lucrative in monetary terms, it is also very lucrative in terms of giving you a good life and free time for yourself. But a caveat: Certainly not lucrative like a doctor or a lawyer. But it is lucrative in time off I would say. Especially if you teach at a university, you can be blessed with time to enjoy life if you choose to be a part-time teacher.

Our fast paced, fast food society is so time demanding. I look all around me and see many people working overtime at jobs they don`t really like. Does this sound like you? I hope not!

Some have stated either you can find a way to enjoy your job (if you don`t), or you can find a job you love. Some say follow your passion. Others, follow your skill.

It is a tough call that everyone has to go through. I think I will always be looking for new challenges.

I love writing, and I love helping people. I enjoy being funny and I can do that when I write or teach.

With an Airbnb guest house, I make money from it while on holiday in Bali, while lying on the beach in the Philippines, or laughing at my brother`s silly jokes over a beer in Vancouver.

About Me & How I make Money

I don`t!!!! It costs me 300 dollars US per year just for hosting and the tools SBI provides.

I get a tiny bit of money from google ads, but google does`t seem to like sites like mine anymore. Some say google doesn`t like SBI sites anymore. I don`t know though.

Teaching, has given me the freedom to spend time with my family and pursue my hobbies and dreams, and pay the bills, coupled with foreign travel. It has been win-win all around. I wish you the same!

If I could do this site over again, I would do it on Wordpress.

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